A special review section on Aboriginal mental health and wellness is featured in the February issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. The section includes a guest editorial on the subject and two articles in review.
In his guest editorial, Dr. Malcolm King, Scientific Director for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Edmonton-based Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, argues that not only is mental health one of the most important health issues impacting Aboriginal people in Canada, but that an understanding of the social determinants of health is key to addressing mental health disparities. King notes that unique social determinants must be considered within the context of Aboriginal people and communities related to their histories, cultures and colonization, and current social, economic, political and geographic contexts. In introducing the two review articles featured in the issue, King recognizes the Canadian Institute for Health Research for including the reduction of Aboriginal health inequities in its main strategic directions, and reflects on the importance of knowledge translation and intervention research for achieving improved practice models.
The two review articles explore particular issues in Aboriginal mental health. The first looks at the value of rethinking resilience from Indigenous perspectives through findings from an ongoing collaborative project in Inuit, Mohawk, Métis and Mi’kmaq communities. The article has important implications for mental health promotion, policy and clinical work in the context of Indigenous mental health. The second article explores the role that an Aboriginal model of knowledge translation, storytelling, and Aboriginal culture-based approaches to treatment can play in front-line work with Aboriginal youth using solvents.
See “Scaling Up the Knowledge to Achieve Aboriginal Wellness,” “From Benzos to Berries: Treatment Offered at an Aboriginal Youth Solvent Abuse Treatment Centre Relays the Importance of Culture,” and “Rethinking Resilience From Indigenous Perspectives,” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (February 2011; 56), available at publications.cpa-apc.org.